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AutoTag is Disabled in Microsoft Office


AutoTag Ribbon tabs or dropdown menus no longer appear when opening Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint.  This article explains why this happens (so you can keep it from happening again) and how to fix it if AutoTag is no longer visible.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If the AutoTag icons appear greyed out and none of the functions are available, then you have an expired or invalid license.

Why it happens

When an add-in does not load in the amount of time Word/Excel/PowerPoint gives for an add-in to load, you are prompted with a screen that asks you if you want to disable the add-in. 


If you press Yes, it disables AutoTag.


There are other possibilities including having a version of MS Office running while you install. 




Resolution Instructions

IMPORTANT NOTE: These steps are the same for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.



Go to File>Options>Add-ins

At the bottom of the Add-ins interface, select Manage: COM Add-ins and hit the Go button.



In the new popup, make sure that you check Windward AutoTag and click ok. (Most users will only have 1 option, and you only want to have one checked.)  Then click OK.

Your Tabs should be restored. If they aren't, you might need to re-start MS Office. 



To resolve the issue:

1) Open Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint

2) In Office 2010, click the File button. (Scroll down for Office 2007 and 2003 instructions.)

3) Select Options from the drop down menu


4) From the Options menu select  Add-Ins

5) From the Manage drop down menu select Disabled Items and click Go


6) Select AutoTag from the list and click Enable


7) Restart Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint to load the AutoTag add-in


NOTE:  Keep in mind that AutoTag can be disabled in Microsoft Word and still be enabled in Excel and PowerPoint.  Disabling of AutoTag is independent of each Office product.

Office 2007

To check this please go to the Office Button and click "Word/Excel/PowerPoint Options"


When the "Word Options" screen appears click on the "Add-Ins" link on the left hand side.  Make sure AutoTag is not listed under the "Disabled Items" section. If it is listed choose "Disabled Items" from the "Manage" drop down menu in the same window and click OK. 


Then click on AutoTag and click "Enable".  AutoTag is now restored to working order.


Close out all previous windows and then restart Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint to reload AutoTag.

Office 2003 and Earlier

NOTE: Windward no longer supports AutoTag on Office 2003 and earlier because Microsoft no longer supports Office 2003 and earlier:


Installing AutoTag on Windows

This is a major problem because Word does not tell you why it won’t start an add-in. So you have to guess and try different things. So here is what to do (in order). And if you think it is ridiculous that it is this complex to determine why an add-in doesn’t run (we do), please feel free to let Microsoft know.

  • Did you install the hotfixes?
  • Did you check what version of AutoTag you are running by going to AutoTag->Options->About?
  • Check the requirements for AutoTag. These requirements must be installed, including the Office PIAs. The PIAs are installed by the AutoTag installer if they are not already installed.
  • Reboot your computer. Sometimes there are orphan instances of winword.exe running (you don’t see them on the screen but they are in memory).
  • Check your security settings.
  • Go to Tools, Macro, Security


  • You will see the following screen. Make sure “Very High” is not selected.
  • If it is selected, change it and then exit and restart Word.


  • If it works now, you were successful. If not, continue below.
  • Make sure AutoTag is not disabled.
  • Click on Help, About Microsoft Word


  • You will get this window.


  • Click Disabled Items. If you see AutoTag listed, select it and click the Enable button (not shown here as AutoTag is running on this system):


  • Exit and restart Word. If it works now, you were successful. If not, continue below.
  • Check to make sure the following registry entry has its LoadBehavior set to a value of 3
  • Do a clean reinstall of AutoTag.
  • Exit Word.
  • Uninstall AutoTag.
  • Then delete the following four entries in your registry (none of them should be there so don’t worry if you do not see them). You do this using regedit.exe.

Microsoft Office 2000

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTag2000.Connect
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2000.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTag2000.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2000.Connect

Microsoft Office 2002

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTag2002.Connect
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2002.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTag2002.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2002.Connect

Microsoft Office 2003

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTag2003.Connect
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2003.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTag2003.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2003.Connect

Microsoft Office 2007

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTag2007.Connect
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2007.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTag2007.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2007.Connect

Microsoft Office 2010

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2010_64.Connect
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\AutoTagShim2010_64.Connect


  • Reboot
  • Install AutoTag.
  • Try running it again. If it works now, you were successful. If not, continue below.
  • Try to load it explicitly.
  • Add COM Add-Ins… to your tools menu.
  • Go to Tools, Customize
  • Select the COM Add-Ins… command and drag it up to the Tools menu in Word.



  • Go to Tools, COM Add-Ins…
  • If AutoTag is listed here, but not checked – check it, exit, and restart Word.
  • When you restart Word, if it is still unchecked, you probably do not have the Office 2003 PIAs installed. Reinstall Office. (Please don’t blame us – this is how Microsoft has it set up.)


  • Click Add… and go find where you installed AutoTag. This is normally C:\Program Files\Windward Studios\AutoTag


  • Select the file AutoTagShim2003.dll and click ok.
  • When you click OK you now hopefully have AutoTag installed and running.
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